You’ve worked your way up and finally, you are the one at the head of the table. You’re giving the speeches at the end of season banquets, and building up your own assistants now. However, the biggest struggle is still a part of your everyday life.
How do you manage time when you’re coordinating a football team through practices, games and helping your players develop individually? This is by no means an easy task and although it will become easier knowing where to start can be hard.
Use Leadership to Eliminate the Non-Essential
Leadership is one thing that comes naturally to many football coaches. Take a note from many football coaches’ books and play to your strengths.
How many times have you been going through drills, warm-ups or even team activities, and noticed that you’re being pulled in half a million different directions? Use your understanding of the game in combination with your leadership.
By delegating drills, warm-ups, and team activities during practice you can keep your focus on one activity at a time. Although you may still be rotating between groups you can eliminate a lot of questions that aren’t essential.
How do you put your foot down and direct essential questions to your assistant coaches or captains?
- Give the team a clear path on who to talk to, and for what activities.
- For example, have a team captain lead warm-ups. Anyone who has questions about warm-ups should go to him first and an assistant coach next.
- Dedicate a team where players and assistant coaches can bring outstanding questions to you. Make this part of your office hours!
- Have an open forum once a month where any unresolved issues can be heard.
Task Planning for Down Time
It doesn’t matter if you’re early in the season, late in the season or at any point in time of the day. During practice there is always at least one player who has downtime.
Engaging every player is one of the biggest struggles of football coaches everywhere. The large teams in particular can make it difficult to ensure that everyone is doing something that is proactively beneficial to them.
How do you engage every player?
- Tracking which players need development in particular areas can plan out a large part of your practices for them.
- Split your team between offensive and defensive drill reps.
- Rotate players from their best position to areas they need to develop regularly to prevent too much stagnant development.
- ave a backup warm-up for anyone waiting their turn to engage in a drill.
Use Drills as Rep Counts Instead of Time Blocks
We’ve been talking about drills a lot. Why? Because that’s what most of practice is. Laying the foundation for players to rely on when they are in game.
However, the tried and true method of time blocking is beginning to destroy practices. Too often we see coaches enforcing twenty minutes of weave through drills, and ten minutes of wave and contain drills. What this does is demotivate the players. In the end they don’t move with the same hustle because it doesn’t matter how many times they perform successfully.
Try the new approach of rep counting instead of time blocking. Players will quickly learn if they can’t perform a task correctly and with some hustle they’ll just be doing it again.
Technology for Apps for Football Coaches
We just mentioned Rep counting and believe it or not, there is an app for that!
Count My Reps uses voice recognition to count the successful reps. Which means that you, your assistant coaches, and team leaders can all count reps on their phones while helping a player. The counter is easy to reset and records the data.
If you are a private or club coach that has specific time slots set aside for clients or takes payments privately you may also want to use Time Slot Pro. This app allows clients to pay you and book time through the app. Saving you a ton of time spent bent over paperwork and allowing you to spend more time with your players on the field.
Use Your Time Wisely
What are the key takeaways here?
- Delegate questions to people who are able to answer them more quickly than you are. Then be sure to check in with them and the team for accuracy.
- You should be able to focus on one thing at a time during practice. Give quality whenever you can!
- Engage every player, all the time. Having backup drills ready for anyone who is waiting to engage can eliminate a lot of standing around.
- Use technology. There are a ton of great apps out there like Time Slot Pro and Count My Reps.